10 things we loved this weekend: Guardiola, Bale, Dybala, Balotelli…
Interesting tactical insight from Manchester City’s manager, plus a hat-trick in another gorgeous Juventus shirt and Gareth Bale appearing back to his best for Real Madrid were among the things we loved from this weekend’s actions.
Three games in a week. Three wins. Fifteen goals scored. Zero against. You can’t really argue with that?
Also, fair play to Guardiola offering some interesting tactical insight on the importance of full-backs to his side.
“They have huge energy to go up and it stretches our play and means we can have more players in the middle to do the short passes,” he said.
“I like our passes to be three, four, five or six metres, no more than that. It gives us continuity. We create spaces in behind and you need players in those positions. Without these signings it would have been more complicated.”
We like happy Pep.
Guardiola explains what makes his Man City team different from last season
It's certainly working 🔥 pic.twitter.com/OaxMnVpj8N
— Goal (@goal) September 17, 2017
• • • •
No, he’s not joining Manchester United. He’s really not. He is being brilliant for Real Madrid, though.
Gareth Bale displayed his inner roadrunner against Real Sociedad, clocking a speed of 35km/h as he sprinted 73 metres to score. For those of you who like to measure speed using the imperial system, that’s very f*cking fast.
Bale Goal 61′ | Real Sociedad vs Real Madrid pic.twitter.com/oa31w6xZtB
— ENIGMA Stadium (@E1_NATIONAL) September 18, 2017
Ten goals in five starts for Paulo Dybala this season after his hat-trick fired Juventus to a 3-1 victory over Sassuolo. Two things about this though:
1) That Juventus away kit. Bloody hell.
2) That toe-poked second goal. Ronaldinho would be proud of that.
Sensational hat-trick by Dybala ✨😈https://t.co/5upvRwLFIi
— FBL (@FOOTBALRLIFE) September 17, 2017
All the attention in France might be on Neymar and co. at PSG, but everyone’s favourite footballer, Mario Balotelli, continued his impressive start to the season with a thunderous goal for Nice.
Super Mario rifled the ball home at the near post to fire Nice to a 1-0 win at Rennes – his fourth goal in four appearances this season.
What a strike from Mario Balotelli to score the match winning goal for OGC Nice 🔥 pic.twitter.com/jaW5JONAUU
— Rousing The Kop (@RousingTheKop) September 17, 2017
Sticking in France, Neymar grabbed more headlines after arguing with Edinson Cavani over who could take a penalty against Lyon – the Uruguayan won only to miss the spot kick, though PSG still won thanks to two own goals.
We want to give a shout out to 21-year-old Kenny Tete, however, for this piece of impeccable defending when facing up to Neymar in a one-on-one situation.
Most expensive player in history? Pah, easy. (We’re also all for more footballers being called Kenny.)
— OL_Plus (@OL_Plus) September 17, 2017
A final note from Ligue 1 and a reminder of just how bloody good Radamel Falcao is for Monaco.
The striker has already scored nine goals this season – he’s only actually had 10 shots on target.
Falcao’s renaissance over the last 18 months has been one of the best sights in football. Long may it continue.
Radamel Falcao’s shots on target in Ligue 1 this season:
10 shots on target 🎯
9 goals scored ⚽ pic.twitter.com/fG2DdsqNsZ
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) September 18, 2017
We love their fans and now we love their social media department for the following response to being beaten 5-0 by Borussia Dortmund…
.@god What have we done?
— 1. FC Cologne (@fckoeln_en) September 17, 2017
There’s a reason they call Paddy McCourt ‘the Derry Pele’…
— RTÉ Sport (@RTEsport) September 17, 2017
This is like something straight out of Mike Bassett: England Manager.
Atletico have been bragging about raising the highest club flag in Spain. They raised it yesterday. Upside down. pic.twitter.com/7rrpdMxfvN
— Ali (@RM_Insider) September 16, 2017
The life of a football manager must be incredibly hard, especially judging by Keith Curle’s comments following Carlisle’s 1-1 draw with Barnet.
Sad to see that Keith Curle has became completely mental and we're not even half way through September yet pic.twitter.com/wZFfcfvTSq
— Clint Hill Supporter (@JoeStephenson96) September 16, 2017